Girl Baby Name

Teresa

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Quick Facts on Teresa

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Greek, Italian, Spanish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 657
Pronunciation:
te-RE-sah
Simple meaning:
Harvester

Characteristics of Teresa

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Teresa

Teresa is the Spanish, Portuguese and Italian form of Theresa, a name of uncertain etymology. It is thought to come from the Greek “therizein” meaning “to harvest, harvester” or from the Greek “theros” meaning “summer”. Therasia is also the name of a Greek island. Usage of Teresa as a female given name can find its roots in Spain and Portugal pre-Middle Ages. It also remained largely confined to the Iberian Peninsula until the late medieval period. From a historical perspective, Therasia was the name of a Spanish noblewoman who married the 4th century Roman Senator and lawyer, St. Paulinus of Nola. After tragically losing their son, the wealthy couple gave everything to the poor and led a life of religious austerity. It is said that the name Teresa originated from this woman (it is believed that she also borrowed her name from the Greek island). Later on in Spanish history, Teresa of Ávila was a prominent 16th century saint who is likely the source of the name spreading beyond the borders of Spain and Portugal and embraced more widespread throughout Europe. As a mystic and meditation practitioner, Saint Teresa of Jesus (as she’s often called) wrote prolifically and her works were a vital contribution to the body of Spanish Renaissance literature. Adding further “saintly” currency to the name Teresa was a 19th century French Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (Normandy) who is often referred to as the “Little Flower of Jesus”. Not only is she co-patron of France (along with St. Joan of Arc), but her place of pilgrimage in France is second only to Lourdes. Ironically, Saint Thérèse died a little-known cloistered Carmelite nun at the age of 24; it wasn’t until after her death that she gained a huge following even beyond the French borders (thanks to her widely read autobiography “Story of a Soul” that she left behind). Her piously sentimental writings inspired a nation. Then of course, there’s the unforgettable 20th century Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The name T(h)eresa is practically synonymous with holiness so it was no surprise that it became a name of choice among Catholics throughout the Western World. Theresa with an “h” is the version most often used by the English and Germans, while Teresa is the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form and Thérèse the French. Pet forms include Tess, Tessa and Terry. The Spanish version Teresa is moderately popular in Spain and in the United States among Hispanic-Americans.

Popularity of the Name Teresa

Teresa (just like Theresa) has had a long and successful ride on the American popularity charts. Although the spelling without the “h” is considered Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, it is also used among English-speakers which has supported the name’s popularity in America. Teresa entered the 20th century at high-moderate levels of usage and grew as the decades progressed. The name achieved a position on the Top 100 list of most commonly used female names in 1948. Not content to stop there, Teresa actually got as high as position #18 on the charts (1961-1963). In fact, Teresa has seen greater success on the female naming charts than Theresa. Teresa continued to show strong usage (propelled in part by the growing Hispanic-American population). From the mid-1980s onward, however, Teresa has experienced mainly backwards momentum. At least she’s doing better than Theresa which just fell out of circulation and off the charts recently. Teresa is a pretty name by itself, but it’s also a holy name among Spanish-speaking Catholics who are most likely the source behind the name’s continued usage.
Popularity of the Girl Name Teresa
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Teresa

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Teresa

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Teresa

    Teresa We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Teresa.

  • Popular Songs on Teresa

    Popular Songs on Teresa

    Buongiorno Teresa - a song by Perry Como

    St. Teresa - a song by Joan Osborne

    Sweet Teresa - a song by Cross Canadian Ragweed

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Teresa

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Teresa

    Mother Teresa (Demi) - “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing that makes our offering something beautiful for God.” - Mother Teresa. Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910, Mother Teresa was called to a religious life at a young age and began her novitiate in 1928. She took the name "Teresa" after Saint Teresa of Lisieux, the patroness of missionaries, and dedicated her entire life to helping the poorest of the poor in India and, later, throughout the world. Founder of the Missionaries of Charity in 1950, she came to be known as Mother Teresa and oversaw thousands of nuns as they ministered to the poor, the starving, and the dying. Mother Teresa was the recipient of many of the world's most prestigious humanitarian awards, including the United States Medal of Honor and the Nobel Peace Prize. She died in Calcutta, India, in 1997 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 2003. In his homily the pope said, "Let us praise the Lord for this diminutive woman in love with God, a humble Gospel messenger and a tireless benefactor of humanity. In her we honor one of the most important figures of our time. Let us welcome her message and follow her example." Blessed by Pope John Paul II himself, Demi's Mother Teresa is a glorious biography of one of the most beloved women of our time -- a woman whose actions and words will inspire us all. Recommended for ages 7-10.

  • Famous People Named Teresa

    Famous People Named Teresa

    Famous People Named Teresa - Mother Teresa (Albanian nun and Nobel Laureate); Saint Teresa of Avila (Spanish saint); Teresa (various royal subjects of Portugal); Teresa Berganza (Spanish opera singer); Teresa Brewer (singer); Teresa Carpenter (author); Teresa Graves (actress/singer); Teresa Gutierrez (politician); Teresa Heinz (wife of Senator John Kerry); Teresa Wright (actress)

  • Children of Famous People Named Teresa

    Children of Famous People Named Teresa

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Teresa - Jerry Garcia (musician, Grateful Dead); Larry Flynt (publisher of Penthouse)

  • Historic Figures

    Teresa - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Mother Teresa (26 Aug 1910 – 5 Sep 1997) - Blessed Mother Teresa was the well-known founder of the Roman Catholic Missionaries of Charity, a religious order of nuns active in over 100 countries, but she herself is most closely associated with her work for the poor and dying in India. Born Agnes Bojaxhiu in Albania, she realized her calling to the work of the missionary at a very young age, and eventually devoted almost all of her time to the tending of India’s poorest outcasts. Throughout her life, Mother Teresa was the recipient of many humanitarian awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, but she was not immune to detraction, either. Her firm stance on abortion as “the greatest destroyer of peace today” earned her no friends at Planned Parenthood. She was also criticized for not holding to a higher standard of medical care for her charges, as well as for her belief that suffering was a gift to mankind in order to allow him to identify with the suffering of Christ. After her death, her letters and diaries reveal that she had a profound “dark night of the soul” throughout most of her life, and was beset with doubt about the very existence of God. Nonetheless, she adhered to the path she had chosen, and it was certainly not an easy one. That alone should qualify as a legitimate miracle enough to earn her that elusive sainthood. When she died, she was sincerely mourned, but the news of her death was largely eclipsed by that of Princess Diana five days earlier. Somehow, we believe she would have appreciated this.

Personality of the Girl Name Teresa

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Teresa

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